Uberpositives vs Shalackings

by .

So after Pedro posted about his Dortmund exploits – including some pretty racey pictures of German sausage – I’m back to have another go after Wednesday’s post (meltdown).

Now that the pain of Tuesday night is a little less fresh in the memory and the wound that is Arsenal’s season has started to scab, I was going to try and offer some perspective.

At least that was the case until I read that we are in for Lassana Diarra. And here is exactly why being an Arsenal fan is such a headfuck:

1. I’d be delighted if we signed Diarra because we desperately need a player like him at DM;
2. I’d be furious with the manager because it’s something he could and should have sorted in the summer rather than waiting until it has cost us points in the league and CL;
3. I kind of hope this is just paper talk because if true it absolutely beggars belief.

So there you have it – delight and fury from the same piece of news, while simultaneously hoping that it is and isn’t true. It’s Kaiser Soze levels of banter from Arsenal there’s no other way of looking at it.

In other news the div brigade have been on at Pedro for exactly what I highlighted in my post on Wednesday:


Well yeah but he also said Klopp, LVG or Guardiola would do a better job and that Moyes and Coyle were ‘curve balls’ who at the time were pretty much universally regarded as promising young managers. And lest we forget it IS possible for people to make mistakes in football.

Arsene thought Almunia, Traore, Squillaci. Silvestre, Santos, Bischoff, Denilson, Diawara, Chamakh and Park were all good enough to play for Arsenal. That’s a whole team of wrong right there.

What’s so offensive about highlighting errors in exactly the way I have just done is it’s an argument against taking a risk, against the unknown. It’s saying don’t imagine that things could ever be better, just be happy with things as they are – and don’t EVER question it. It’s all a bit 1984 to be honest (not to massively overdramatise football or anything).

Certainly when you encounter some of the überpositives online (I’ve never met one in the stadium) they always seem one or two tweets away from drinking the kool-aid.

But slowly, as the piss-poor performances continue to rack up, their excuses are becoming more and more feeble.

First it was stadium debt, then it was competing with oil-rich clubs, then it was treacherous players who left us in the lurch, now it’s about showing respect to a man who has done so much for the club.

While there’s an element if truth in all these points, there’s always a reason not to criticise – and demanding someone be beyond criticism out of ‘respect’ is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

I do respect Arsene Wenger but I don’t think he can cut it with the very best anymore which is what we should demand for a club of our stature.

Another fun thing I tried to do yesterday is recount all the maulings and ridiculous comebacks we’ve suffered as a club over the last few years (since 2008 when things really started to go wrong). Here’s my list, let me know if I’ve missed any:


Chelsea (prem) 6-0
Everton (prem) 3-0
City (prem) 6-3
Liverpool (prem) 5-1
United (prem) 8-2
Milan (CL) 4-0
Barcelona (CL) 4-1
United (CL) 3-1
Tottenham (CC) 5-1

Ridiculous comebacks:

West Brom (prem) 3-2
Tottenham (prem) 3-2
Newcastle (prem) 4-4
Tottenham (prem) 4-4
Birmingham (prem) 2-2

Now ask yourself which other top teams have racked up as many shalackings or hilarious collapses as Arsenal have in recent years? Every team will have one or two but none with a list as impressive as ours.

What’s the point I’m trying to make here? I don’t know really, probably that we are just not as good as we think we are. And out of all those results listed above, players have changed, formations have changed and backroom staff have changed. The one thing that has remained constant is the manager.

But you know that’s where we are at at the moment, it can’t be changed. Let’s look at what can be changed ahead of Villa on Saturday.

First and foremost the formation. I read a great article that said the reason we have moved to 4-1-4-1 is to accommodate Wilshere. Rather than a double pivot of Ramsey and Arteta with Özil at number 10, we now have a single pivot of Arteta (ie more ground for him to cover) with Ramsey and Wilshere both helping out in defence and attack (box to box), without either seeming to know who is the defendy one and who is the attacky one. Meanwhile our best no10, Özil, is shunted out wide.

So the problem with this formation is that it doesn’t suit Özil, Ramsey, Arteta or Wilshere himself. I’d advocate going back to the old formation but who knows, maybe it will click soon.

In terms of the opposition, Villa seem to be better this season but I don’t know or really care why. We just have to start winning games and quickly.

Before I go huge congratulations to Scotland for voting No last night. I had serious concerns about what it would mean for Scottish players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey and our imports of bagpipes and Iron Bru but I get the feeling everything is going to be alright.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a better preview of the Villa game. Let me know your thoughts in the comments – and also can someone explain who Oswald is?

Follow me on twitter @aldo_doel  xxx

573 Responses to “Uberpositives vs Shalackings”

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  1. GoonerGaunty73

    Quick question, if AW does address our massive squad gaps and does bring in some players, will they be able to play in the CL?

    I was under the impression you had to name a set off players and that was it until January????

  2. Jeff


    Most of us on here gave up any hope of winning the CL soon as the window closed. No possible acquisition in January can change that given our dismal performance in the market for many a year. So the short answer to your question is that it matters very little to the final outcome.

    The real question is and always was going to be about the league. However, most of us gave up on the PL too soon after the window slammed shut – even with Welbeck.

    So where does that leave us? It leaves us where it always leaves us every season – fighting for damage limitation. We dig our own grave every season and avoid falling in it by the seat of our pants. And so it will be again only this time there is a very good chance that we might not even make our beloved fourth.

  3. Sally Pally

    Last years team was great. This year we are better. Debuchy, although injured, seems to me to be a great upgrade from Sagna, who still ins’t delivering decent crosses at City. Chambers is a revelation and Bellerin is exciting. He is very highly regarded and an able third choice right back. Welbecck is having a very positive effect and I think gives us the kind of player annoying to enemy defences that was so hurtful to us during the Ferguson years. Sanchez is immense and looks like the toughest and most durable player we’ve ever purchased.
    Yes, a decent DM would have been a nice addition for when we come up against the other big boys in PL and CL. Wilshere, I think we can see now, needs to be 100% fit. When he’s only at 90% he’s not effective but that’s because of what he does. It was great to see hi at his peak against City.
    So we had an embarassing night against the totally awesome (on the night) Dortmund and hats off to them. Next time will probably be different. To me , our players looked shattered from our great performance against City and these things will improve as the season goes on. One poor result early on is not an issue and could hopefully spur us on against Villa and in the next few gamnes.
    Good luck fellow gunners and let’s look forward to a very promising season. I think we are going to terrorise opposition defences al over the UK and Europe this year. January should see us get the squad that will make us top title contenders. Many of us feel that this could and should have been done in summer but slowly, slowly catchy monkey as they say – it is coming and we are going to be a right handful. Love Sanchez – he’s about as good as it gets! One love!

  4. GillespieRoadNoMore

    Usual suspects and 1984 in the same post, was expecting “really bad things” next. I cannot believe the dereliction of duty our highly rewarded manager has displayed in allowing the squad to dwindle to the point where we are just one or two injuries away from having to get the tea lady on the bench. Formations seem to be just another example of the French bloody minded mindset Wenger seems to be exhibiting more and more frequently, believe me Johnny French can be the most bloody awkward bugger imaginable.

    Our season seems to be going down the pan, we have yet to play an “Arsenal” game where we lay on the style and score for fun.

    As you say being a Gooner is an agonising experience at the moment especially when we all know it doesn’t have to be this way and that if we had a manager with vision and ambition we would be where we belong.

    One last thing, I think Bale & Ramsey would have been fine if our Braveheart friends had not seen sense seeing as how they are Welsh boyo!
    I am just left wondering what will it take as I cannot envisage Wenger changing his ways. At present we are locked into several more years of agony until AW moves on.

  5. Bade


    I think you missed a few pearlers of excuses

    We don’t need to spend to be successful
    Spending doesn’t guarantee trophies
    Buying X will kill young Z (that will either fad away or just move on to a trophy winning club if he finds his legs after 200 painful starts)
    Our squad is excellent, judge us in May (since 2008….)
    Injuries killed us
    Refs killed us
    Luck killed us
    Jack the ripper killed us (I’m certain I saw someone posting it somewhere)

  6. N5

    @Arsenal Nurse,

    Sorry mate, I missed your reply last night. Firstly your analogy had me in stitches, but to be honest I’ve been to parties where I’ve been locked in a cupboard and repeatedly pissed on, but secondly and more importantly, I understood that already, I’m not at any point blaming Ozil for his decline. I do think he needs to take control of it. Yeah he made have been sold a dream that has turned out to be a dud, but he’s still a paid employee that needs to give his all.

    Even if he ends up at Wrexham, I’d expect to see 2010 world cup Ozil, not these recent anonymous one. I find it especially hard to accept because I’ve followed his career for so long and I’ve never seen him like his is now.

    The original conversation was because Bamford suggested he was still seeing, all’s well with Ozil comments and I hadn’t noticed any in a while. Even myself who has had many, many, many debates on here about Ozil has stopped saying “it’ll all come good, you’ll see” comments.

    Although, I’m not going to give up on Mesut, because the guy is far to good to stay like this, but something has to be done. Lets get him back as a number 10 first. Regardless of where he has played for other clubs, there is no question that is his best and most suited position and then lets more on from there.

    Does anyone know where I can get stain remover from? Gazza piss has ruined by nicest shirt.

  7. Crispy

    The 4-4 Andrei Arshavin show vs Liverpool felt like a loss when they equalised.

    ‘Klopp in’ is my mantra for the next 3 years.

  8. bergkamplegend

    Good morning….
    Tomorrow I predict a tight victory at Villa, let’s say 2-1 for the ArsÈnal.

    – Wenger’s press conference after the game :
    “Like I’ve already told to the fans who are angry for some reason I don’t get, everything is alright. We are still in the race for the title, and most important, the target will be to finish in the top 4. It is vital for the club.
    Of course it was important to bounce back after our defeat at Dortmund.
    The players have responds very well and you have to give them a lot of credit, because physically and mentally it’s very difficult to get back to the premier league right after a champion’s league game, specially with a game away.
    Concerning Ozil, I can confirm you that he is very happy to play in that position, and trust me, if he wasn’t happy, he would have already told this to me…”

    I’m tired to type, so please if you want to complete the press conference : your comments here lol

  9. bergkamplegend

    “I’d be happy with Lassana Diarra”

    The club is really at the bottom, and so the fans…
    And to hope that wenger will buy in january, this is just laughable.

  10. gnarleygeorge9

    Ridiculous comebacks is missing the Everton one this season!

    WTF is going on, I turn my attention to the AFL & The Arse are slip sliding away.

    Get your shit 2gether Old Frenchie, you are looking like you may need to be subbed 😉

  11. Dark Hei

    Lassana rumours are rubbish.

    If Wenger is feeling desperate, he can always throw in Coquelin. The boy is limited but he is pretty good at tackling and winning the ball back. Something that Flamini and Arteta can’t.

  12. andy1886

    Not sure what the score is with the CL and PL squads – can we add additional players at this late stage? TBH Diarra is probably an upgrade on what we have but that’s not saying a great deal.

  13. MidwestGun

    Alex –
    Excellent post! Sums it up, really. Slightly rambling, but I like stream of consciousness writing. 😀

    Oswald = commenter who once had a comment that was time stamped 2 hours ahead before everyone elses comments caught up. It was also his first comment ever, sort of an introduction. What a time traveler would say if he came back in time to say hello. Therefore, anyone who might be from the future or off the grid is Oswald. Like the matrix. 😎
    Hope that clears it up. Hahaha.

  14. Bristles

    Sally Pally has drunk the Cool Aid. Fact. The AKBs have a ways to go yet. A couple of years playing in the Europa League might start to shift things…
    PS Great article Alex!

  15. bergkamplegend

    But I still love YOU karima, and that’s all that matters… 😉

    More seriously, fans like you – the so called WENGER LOVERS – are one of the reasons why the club is becoming so pathetic.

  16. andy1886

    If not I would give Le Coq a go, I don’t believe he ever got a real shot at the DM position and younger players almost never get a genuine chance here any more (unless you’re one of AW’s pets). Let’s face it, we’re not going to win the league anyway, so why not? Most younger players have shakey starts, even the likes of Adams, give the boy a chance.

  17. Johnty79

    Selling diarra was the point when arsene lost it at arsenal. 2006-7 was our transition season. 2008 we were five points clear in January. He sells diarra , everybody in the world new flamini was not going to sign a new deal. That still to this day is the worst changing decision wenger has made in his career.

    Not signing samba in 2010 was his second biggest. On both occasions we would of won the league in each instance.

  18. Mark

    ‘What’s the point I’m trying to make here? I don’t know really, probably that we are just not as good as we think we are’.
    We are turning into the England national team!

  19. Johnty79

    The wenger years broken down.

    1997-2002 – the years of hope and excitement minus Stefan malz, Nelson vivas, lushny,
    2003-2008 – thee migrates purse tightening
    2009-2013 – the lost years
    2014- the years of always being two players short of challenging for the title.

  20. Moray

    Diarra is a classic Wenger signing in the Flamini mould.

    The guy forced us to sell him at a really inconvenient time. So we just take him back in like a beaten wife, when he’s finished and nobody else wants him.

    This scratching around for emergency loan players when the last few windows have been dither after dither (especially the last when there were good players available at good prices) makes my blood boil. I don’t want any of these losers near the club, even if it means we fail this year. Wenger has shit his bed, now he has to lie in it.

  21. kapslock

    We really should go back to 4-2-3-1 with the double pivot and try Ramsey and Wilshere there. Drop Arteta. The new formation is just not working. If we went back to that formation it would allow Sanchez and Ox on the wings and Ozil playing his favoured no 10. Have a feeling Wenger will stick it out until Walcott comes back and then revert.

  22. Romford Pele

    “Have a feeling Wenger will stick it out until Walcott comes back and then revert.”

    Yeah I read a blog by Tim Stillman yesterday which alluded to something similar. Not sure why we have to wait for Theo to return before implementing it though. Sanchez and Ox is fine and offers better defensive balance.

  23. Bamford13


    Agree that we should return to 4231 even if Jack and Ramsey are playing, but I actually think we’d be better off playing Jack as the deep-lying CDM, Aaron (despite poor form) as the CM and Ozil (despite poor form) as the CAM.

    While Jack is not all that mobile, he’s better than Arteta. Plus Wenger has mentioned him playing this role.

    Even better would be if the senile manager had signed a proper CDM two years ago.

  24. kapslock

    Romford – agree. Also, if Jack/Ramsey doesn’t work give Ox a go in the double pivot. He has the legs to cover the ground. My worry is that his ball retention is not as good as the other 2. I think Ramsey & Jack can work if they keep playing together and building an understanding. We just need to drop Arteta, offers nothing.

  25. Romford Pele

    Kapslock – Basically I think Wenger wants to make the 4-1-4-1 work. He will allude to it needing time but 4-2-3-1 was a relatively successful formation, it just needed upgrading in certain positions (CB, DM, ST).

    Yeah I don’t really wanna be using Ox in the middle atm though others will disagree. At the end of the day Wenger has invited this pressure upon himself by not strengthening where was needed. He wants to play a high pressing 4-1-4-1 but we have two players (Mert and Arteta) who just aren’t built for the style due to their lack of mobility. The 4-2-3-1 hid their deficiencies a lot more.

  26. Moe

    Anyone else think this could be a massive opportunity for Le massive Coq-uelin to shine at right back. He is in the squad after all for a reason. Keep him away from Wenger, just a massive one on one boot camp with Bouldy next two weeks, the type reminiscent of the rocky movies, training everyday til midnight.
    Challenge him not only to out shine our new boy wonder chambers but also to keep debuchy out when he returns. And finally whisper in his ears that if he has a blinder half season, we’ll speak to our connections at barca to have him there next season. If we managed it for a defender on the bench for whole of last season, not even due to injury or even managed it for Alex song, the he knows we have credibility in this area to give barca Le massive Coq!!!

  27. matthew thomas

    Wilshite doesn’t even make our best team, which IMO is :-





    If the gormless chav can’t accept that then he should be sold ASAP. At the moment we are throwing away our season trying to accommodate him in the starting lineup, which is bizarre given how painfully average he is.

    Our team would be pretty amazing if we replaced Flamini and Welbeck with some actual good players.

  28. Bamford13


    Yet another irrational Wilshere hater. Wilshere is playing far better than Ramsey at the moment, was MOTM and excellent against City and was good against Dortmund as well until the 65th or so when frustration set in.

    If any players don’t make the starting XI at moment, they are Ramsey and Ozil, neither of whom has played well in some time.

  29. Romford Pele

    “Don’t think the formation really makes a difference. We were garbage for alot of last season as well.”

    I mean we didn’t play as well as we could’ve, sure. But at least there was more of an understanding of roles. It’s too much of a mess atm. Ramsey and Wilshere both like to occupy the same spaces on the pitch. We seemed to have pushed Ramsey further forward to accommodate Wilshere in the team. Wilshere has been fine, Ramsey doesn’t look comfortable further up though. He’s always best making runs from deep.

  30. Bamford13

    And by the way, average players don’t put in the kind of performances Jack did against City. His goal was pure class, as was his header back post to Sanchez.

    Your criticisms are mere prejudice.

  31. matthew thomas


    Because the formation that they excelled in last season has been inexplicably changed to accommodate Wilshere, who is still shit wherever he is played.

  32. Bamford13


    Yes, we were garbage last year, but at this point it’s a question of what would work best, not what will make us a great side.

    In truth we won’t be a great side again until Wenger is gone.

    Any success we have in the near term will be in spite of Wenger, not because of him.

  33. Romford Pele

    Wilshere is far from average. I’m happy with his form, though it seems to have come at the expense of others. If Wenger wanted to get both of them in the same team he could’ve at least tried the diamond.

    Ramsey Wilshere
    Sanchez Welbeck

    Makes so much more sense to me than the 4-1-4-1

  34. carts

    run a bath and make all his family members used the same bath water, till murky grey, before pulling the plug out

  35. Bamford13


    One, continuing to call Wilshere “shit” despite fact that he has been one of our best players and was MOTM against City is irrational and shows your views are not grounded in evidence but are instead mere prejudice.

    At moment the players playing like “shit” are Ramsey and Ozil.

    As for the formation, at moment we’re accommodating Ramsey, not Jack, as Jack is the better player at moment. (And no, this isn’t because Aaron doesn’t know how to play with Jack on the field — one of the lamer theories proposed hereon.)

    Further, as I pointed out, Jack could play holding with Ramsey and Ozil in front of him in the old formation if you really must have Aaron on the field.

    Frankly I think we’d be better with both Ramsey and Ozil on the bench until their form returns. Cazorla and Jack are far, far more effective at moment.

  36. matthew thomas


    I’m not trolling. We can’t play 4-1-4-1 because due to Wenger’s incompetence in the transfer market we don’t have a player good enough to play as a single pivot. We need to play 4-2-3-1. Ozil is a better number 10 than Wilshere, Ramsey is a better Box to Box midfielder than Wilshere and Wilshere cannot play as a more defensive minded midfielder in that system.

    But Wenger seems intent of playing a formation we simply do not have the players for in order to accommodate Wilshere in the starting lineup. It makes no sense at all, especially when you consider he isn’t even that good and spends most games giving the ball away and getting booked for petty challenges.

  37. Shaun Wilson

    Regarding Wilshere : I was firmly in the ‘he’s lost whatever he had’, camp until that performance against City where he showed us that there was a reason why we once all held him so high in esteem. But… if he can’t access this ability for more than one game in an eon then… I suspect that this is to do with how he is being managed and coached and that he needs a more dynamic motivator behind him than the current sad old despot in situ.

  38. matthew thomas

    No team with an ambition of winning a major trophy would would change their formation to accommodate a player of Wilshere’s level of ability.

  39. N5

    MT, I agree the on the formation, but lying the blame at Jack’s feet is silly.

    He’s played well the past two matches and you’re still calling him Wiltshit, if that isn’t to get a rise then what is it?

  40. Romford Pele

    “We need to play 4-2-3-1. Ozil is a better number 10 than Wilshere, Ramsey is a better Box to Box midfielder than Wilshere and Wilshere cannot play as a more defensive minded midfielder in that system.

    But Wenger seems intent of playing a formation we simply do not have the players for in order to accommodate Wilshere in the starting lineup. ”

    Agree with this. Don’t agree that Wilshere isn’t good enough mind you. Lads more than able. My issue is getting him and Ramsey into the same side, which is what Wenger seems intent on doing.

  41. Sir Chips

    I have a bad feeling about the game tomorrow.

    Confidence will be pretty shot after the Tuesday’s toilet display and Villa have looked decent so far this year. It always seems to be a tough game up there for us too – games decided by the odd goal.

    Changes are key in my mind. I know it won’t happen, but I’d like to see us drop Ramsey deeper and revert back to a 4231. If Arteta is to play then he needs some support – he simply can’t run the area in front of the back 4 on his own. I would also take Ozil out of the starting 11. He is not playing well, and I think he could do with a break from the spotlight. It’s not like we are lacking in midfield options either.

    Sanchez—–Cazorla——- Ox

    All well and good picking a team, but let’s hope (probably in vain) that we are a little more compact in our set up (maybe don’t tell Gibbs and Chambers to go ‘over the top’ in the first 20 mins??) The side I’ve picked has more than enough pace to cause chaos playing on the counter.

  42. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah that’s exactly right. It’s the same every year; Wenger creates the pressure on him himself through negligence and inaction.

    I said yesterday Wenger is always in a reactionary state to his own negligence.

    I mean how can us simple fans spend all summer saying “no class CDM, no chance” yet the manager wombles into the season still thinking Arteta (who looks like his ageing in fast forward physically) can do the job?

    Wenger does this so often, things every journo, pundit and fan can see coming from a mile off, or can see needs improving or changing he’ll just ignore and it will always, always come round and bite us square on our inactive, reactionary arses.

    We’re depressingly predictable with Wenger. Mourinho already knows what Arsenal he’ll play in a few weeks and how to play us, and he does already for the return in months and months. As do City, Liverpool, UCL big boys etc

    We always have the same problems, same failings – I’m amazed there are still fans who back Wenger. But Alex today has said something I have for weeks, fans are confusing two issues A) Do you respect Wenger B) Do you think he should be manager? A Yes to A does not mean a Yes to B, neither will a No to B mean a No to A.

    I respect Wenger massively, but his time was done a few years ago. Football has moved on, Arsenal haven’t.

  43. Bankz

    I’m pretty sure Bale and Ramsey are from Morocco’.

    Anywayz, it’s still Wenger Out. It has been since 2010 and if you for a minute think we will improve as a club on the pitch under Wenger, then you are as deluded as Arteta thinking we have even a remote chance of winning the Champions league.

    Wenger is finished as an elite manager..
    Wenger Out!!!

  44. Paulinho

    I still don’t see how it would be more likely to ‘work’. Arteta is getting sold down the river a bit but coming back from injury and his first game being Dortmund away is a tough ask. He’s still a useful player and far more disciplined and switched defensively than anyone else we have got.

    Not sure whether Wilshere and Ramsey get in eachother’s way as such. I would like to see the both of them playing well at the same time for a change before I make that judgement. Ramsey at the moment is shocking in terms of touch and movement with the ball; things completely independent of role or who he is playing with. There was a glimpse against City last week, when Wilshere floated that ball over the top to Ramsey(who make a pig’s ear of it) that they could work well together.

    The big problem at the moment is that front players are just to bit too manic. Whenever they try and combine, one of them makes a balls of it by doing a heavy touch. The intent and ideas are there but the execution is off; which leads to us getting countered which then exposes our lack of physical defensive midfielder who can bail them out and start the attack again straight away.

    All the above is most likely a manifestation of a team that lacks belief, which again leads back to the manager.

  45. DUIFG

    Watching everton yesterday was a revelation, once again you can see a discernible pattern of play and what they are trying to do, bomb full back on work wide areas. You cant say the same for us, do we have a footballing philosophy, I cant say we do, its not even domination of the ball anymore, im not sure what the hell it is.

    Everton were chasing down and pressing in packs, simple shit any team cou7ld do yet when was the last time we ever saw a conserted effort at pressing, I can remember passages of play, but never a full half let alone a full game!

    I feel so hopeless as its so far past being a personel issue at this point, fernandihno and diego costa up top would not sort this mess out.

  46. TitsMcgee

    Arsene thought Almunia, Traore, Squillaci. Silvestre, Santos, Bischoff, Denilson, Diawara, Chamakh and Park were all good enough to play for Arsenal. That’s a whole team of wrong right there.”



    It’s okay though because he found Lauren over a decade ago or so he would tell you anyway.

  47. Romford Pele

    Cesc – it’s just baffling, and very annoying from a fans POV. He probably will replace Arteta and Diaby when they leave at the end of the season. But why wait when there are more than adequate funds available and a plethora of DMs on the market. He’ll point to numbers, but as we all saw on Tuesday, some of them just don’t cut the mustard.

    S*** forgot we have Chelsea in a few weeks. Expects our pants to be rolled down and spanked heavily. Really is depressing and same s*** on a different day.

    Yeah like you, massive respect for Wenger, appreciate all he has done for the club, still has an eye for a player but the way he sets the team up is flawed IMO and always susceptible against physically imposing and quick teams. Do I think other managers can do better? For sure. Even with what’s at at our disposal atm we should be doing better. Like I say, you want Wilshere and Ramsey together? Fine, play a diamond.

    Issue is that most fans, while they aren’t satisfied, will not say anything, indicating that they are happy with things as they are. The majority is still very much pro-the current regime.

    Ashamedly, I have to admit that I protested with BSM and Red Action back in 2010. I say ashamedly because looking back in hindsight it was never gonna make an ounce of difference and I still don’t think it will now. Wenger is in charge, and the powers that be around him don’t have the balls to do anything about it.

    Constant circle of s*** which a lot haven’t yet clocked on to. I carry on supporting the boys regardless

  48. DUIFG

    Ox and Cazorla should definitely start tomorrow, as they’re fresh where others are fatigued. Maybe Rosicky as well.

    without a doubt, needs to be shaken up big time.

  49. Daniel

    cant believe people have started advocating for solander and Ramsey in the same team.at that rate both will be out injured by November.play 4231,rotate jack/Aaron and mesut/catalpa.the other ares clearly sorts it self out.

  50. Romford Pele

    “I still don’t see how it would be more likely to ‘work’. Arteta is getting sold down the river a bit but coming back from injury and his first game being Dortmund away is a tough ask. He’s still a useful player and far more disciplined and switched defensively than anyone else we have got.”

    I don’t disagree with this. I’ve never said Arteta was a bad player. After the game against Dortmund I didn’t single out individuals because everyone was s***. And yes, he’s still the best option we have.

    RE Wilshere/Ramsey – maybe it is a case of time. But why then change a system which looked fine for the most part last season (bar big games)? Maybe Wilshere and Ramsey can work though from what i’ve seen of them together atm Ramsey doesn’t look comfortable playing further forward, doesn’t suit his skillset. Sure, there are things he needs to improve on and could’ve done better thus far but I maintain he’s better as a B2B.

    Tbh the start of the season hasn’t surprised me that much. Wenger and the players did say that the season had come a few weeks early. You factor in the Germans who had no pre-season and it’s easy to see why it’s been a bit of a mess. Still, certain things could’ve been done better. And like you say, that comes back to the manager.

  51. Dissenter

    You’re right about Wilshere’s form.
    However, it’s been at the expense of the team because Wenger seems to be do everything to accomodate him even if it means exposing his slow DMs and shunting Ozil to the left.

    I really think Wenger should be playing either of Ramsey or Jack in most games. Same for Ozil or Carzola.
    Based in current form, Rambo and Ozil will be bench warmers

  52. Bamford13


    I find it odd that you’re ashamed of having protested despite fact that you continue to believe Wenger needs to go. It’s one thing if you think your opinion was wrong, but to be ashamed because the odds and the power structure are stacked against you? Sorry, but that’s unprincipled. Makes no sense.

    If I lived in London, I’d wear a “Fuck Off, Wenger!” t-shirt to every single home game. Or would they not allow me in the stadium because they don’t allow fan protest? If so, that would simply be another example of the bankrupt regime running Arsenal.

  53. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah exactly right, good post.

    We don’t get a choice, we’re Arsenal fans, can’t switch that off.

    I said in the summer we’re a boring, depressing club though. You know what’s coming way, way before it does. Wenger will leave holes in the squad over the transfer window, we’ll fall down tactically in big games and get embarrassed, we’ll suffer with injuries and fatigue, we won’t rotate.

    And then it happens – and you look around at all the pro-Wenger people and say “well? Called this ages back, so…” And there’s always, always a reason that he can’t be blamed this time, or we should wait and see, or judge him another time. When we were top of the league they were more than happy to judge the situation on current standing but as soon as we start taking maulings or falling into old, comfortable, “wait a sec I’ve been here before” traps we should all start looking at the bigger picture then, or judge him later, or oil money, or length of grass or something.

    I said to my brother yesterday that I think it’s easier for a lot of fans to either ignore of excuse because we’re in a comfortable stagnation of UCL football and not much else than it is to confront that we could and should be doing a lot better and the guy in charge has passed his peak, well past it.

  54. Leedsgunner

    Dear Arsene

    I see this morning you again refused to take responsibility for the way we played on Tuesday. I agree with you on one thing… Özil should not be the scapegoat. I have a pretty good idea who should though.

    If it makes you feel better, this rant is for you. I’m sure it reflects how you feel. When I was young, my parents told me to always try to see things from the other’s points of view so here goes….

    “The world according to Arsene.”

    Everything is great at the club. We’re a club so full of ambition I can hardly breathe, so full of blinding class I can hardly see, and so full of depth we can compete with anyone, you hear me anyone!!! The food that Delaware put out, I mean delish… literally it’s to die for. (No it really is).

    Real Madrid, s*** compared to us, Bayern Munich, S*** compared to us, Barcelona, another S*** club compared to us. Chelsea, not even worth comparing, because they are all s***. Man City, bunch of mercenaries.

    Fabregas, overrated, I would have Arteta any day, in fact isn’t he the greatest captain this club has ever known?!

    We’re bursting at the seams with defenders… Sam Ajayi will be THE boss, the next Tony Adams, along with Sanaogo the next Lionel Messi… he’ll come good next game, err, the game after that, err, the game after that, err, the game after that… “Is it time for the loo yet boss?” (No, Yaya go back on the pitch!)

    What a humble man, I am. Although I could go to any club I want, I choose to stay and suffer here… oh… you should pity me. Why are you looking at me, don’t you know I don’t need to answer to you? Trust me, I know best — after all, haven’t I delivered year after year? Yes, that’s right the 4th place trophy! What more could you want?!

    (Wait, don’t answer that!)

  55. Dissenter

    It’s only a screwy manager like Wenger that will be holding out for a player who’s returning back for major knee surgery. I’m reading that he won’t revert the formation until Theo returns.

    Theo won’t be fully back until the spring. He hasn’t played more that 300 minutes of football since mid September 2013. First he had the abdominal (hernia) surgery then the knee injury soon after.

  56. Romford Pele

    Bamford, Don’t think my opinion was wrong and i’m still opposed to Wenger being here.

    I guess what i’m trying to get at is that protesting is pretty futile in that regard. Was getting all kinds of looks from matchgoers. You had about 900 protesting as opposed to 50K who were just going as per usual. I think a lot of people just get angry in the moment. People obviously don’t see things as that bad at Arsenal.

  57. Romford Pele

    ” I said to my brother yesterday that I think it’s easier for a lot of fans to either ignore of excuse because we’re in a comfortable stagnation of UCL football and not much else than it is to confront that we could and should be doing a lot better and the guy in charge has passed his peak, well past it.”

    This is it really. We could and really should be doing better. But we’re doing just about enough – and that’s obviously appeasing the masses.

  58. Ashwin Gunner

    Nice post Alex

    See how quickly things change. No body missed Pedro now 😀 😀

    I hope one day we forget Wenger also in the same manner.

    for your question

    Oswald is a poster here, He posts very rarely. He says he reads the blog everyday but doesn;t post. I think some time last year when we got humilated against Liverpool( i think), he made his first comment. and for some bizzare reason LG went nuts. even though other people were posting their comments after him, his post was always the last one..

    So since that day. Oswald has become a synonym to bizzare, ghost, and even ET 😀

  59. Indiangunner

    Don’t blame Ozil. Blame Arteta and Arsene. Ozil started his arsenal career brightly. Ozil should not be moved on to wings. Unless we have a better Number 10 ozil, we should not move ozil. Ozil is the better number 10 we have. He should play through the middle and freely.

    Arsenal team is totally unbalanced. Arteta is no Bastian 🙁


  60. Ashwin Gunner

    i expect Szcz to get dropped against Villa, for two reasons.

    Firstly he was shit against Dortmount
    Secondly , Ospina needs to get a chance. He looks a better goalkeeper than Szcz. I hope Wenger doesn;t rot him

    And as for some comments against Wilshere, Wilshere is playing much better than Ramsey ATM.

    If we are indeed switching to 4231 formation, we should go something like this

    back 5

    Ramsey Wilshere

    Ox Ozil Sanchez

  61. BacaryisGone

    No Alex you are wrong. I like Pedro’s posts even when I disagree with them and it’s clear that he’s a great fan. But if you’re going to slam Wenger for his errors then you are fair game for the recommendations you make. Wenger is universally respected for having a brilliant eye for finding and developing talent but you just lump in a number of mostly deep cover squad players, all of whom combined don’t come close to a single disastrous signing like Andy Carroll or Fernando Torres.

    What many bloggers, including Pedro overlook or just simply ignore, is that there isn’t a single manager out there who hasn’t made a number of significant mistakes in the buying and selling of players. We happen to have one of the better managers when it comes to making key transfer decisions.

    The biggest issue I have with Pedro (and now you too) is that there’s often a failure to provide balance and perspective when it comes to critiquing Wenger. Not always, but certainly often. Providing that balance might not be great for traffic or for rabble rousing, but it’s much closer to the reality of Arsene’s performance.

  62. N5

    Alex, as Ashwin said, Oswald made one post once on here and then everytime someone posted his name came underneath that post. He became a time traveller because no matter what we posted. Oswald would end up below it.

    Every now and again, one of us digs out his post and just posts it for the fun of it.

    If Legrove goes screwy it’s oswald, if the server goes down, it’s oswald, if a post is early, guess who….oswald.

    Oswald Time Lord and Le Grove maniac.

  63. Cesc Appeal


    Not sure what you’re having a go at him for?

    “What’s so offensive about highlighting errors in exactly the way I have just done is it’s an argument against taking a risk, against the unknown. It’s saying don’t imagine that things could ever be better, just be happy with things as they are – and don’t EVER question it. It’s all a bit 1984 to be honest (not to massively overdramatise football or anything).”

    He’s saying precisely what you just did, all managers should take risk, and those risky moves won’t always come off.

    But he’s also using to counter the one remaining defence that the pro-Wenger lobby have, “careful what you wish for.”

  64. Biggus


    “i expect Szcz to get dropped against Villa, for two reasons.”

    Fat chance of that happening. Wenger doesn’t believe in rotation one bit. That’s why all these shouts of buying more players is useless to the man.

    Remember last season when he bought brokenback Kim and Ramsey returned from injury and he still played him in extra time in the cup game? He just bought Ospina as a place holder that would never get games.

    I’m not a fan of Szc; i think he’s a good keeper but not extra ordinary. Good shop stopper but nothing more. Positioning is dodgy at times and we all know about his concentration.

    Therein lies the problem in our great club, you can bank on being average and not being subbed or replaced cos the manager is a traditionalist that will never be pro active but more reactive.

    I would like to see Campbell brought in some matches on the wings to create havoc as he’s very raw and unpredictable but alas..just bloody dreams…

    Nice post Alex..you seem to be growing into the role, perhaps you can advise our ‘arshavin-to-be’ Ozil?

  65. Dissenter

    “What many bloggers, including Pedro overlook or just simply ignore, is that there isn’t a single manager out there who hasn’t made a number of significant mistakes in the buying and selling of players. We happen to have one of the better managers when it comes to making key transfer decisions”

    Do you really still believe this? (Head scratching)
    Wenger himself admits that we need the prodigious athletic defensive midfielder he’s failed to buy for 6 season since Gilberto left.
    The same Wenger who elects to gamble on 6 defenders to cover 4 positions all season long.
    The same Wenger who believes Monreal can play CB?
    I could go and on but what’s the point.

    I’m sure even you have reservations about Wenger being “one of the best”.

  66. Ashwin Gunner


    “We happen to have one of the better managers when it comes to making key transfer decisions.”

    What???? Really???

    I agree everybody has made mistakes. Even Fergie was wrong in selling Pogba. But Wenger takes failures in TW to a new level. No body can beat him in his miserable failings on his decisions at TW.

    Let me start
    1) We signed a player with broken back in Jan as we were short in mid field…. NOthing changed in Summer, He had the same team but still he thought of letting Cesc go to Chelsea. How and where did he suddenly get an illsuion that our squad is better than what it was in Jan. Theo is still out. Ramsey and Ozil can get injured again, at the same time. what is wrong in having WC depth.

    2) How in sane world is Giroud replacement to 30+ goal scorer in PL

    3) No DMF, since Song left. and Arteta is being moved to that position. Brilliant

    4) FFS Djourou was our CB till Per came in

    5) Letting Sagna go.. I mean, he is the most commited footballer. He spent 7 years without a raise. Instead of tying him for a new deal, He brought Debuchy for 8m + his wages. Keeeping Sagna would had been a cheaper and better option. dont you think.. I call this Masterstroke.

    Dont even get me started on Park. He spoiled that Lad;s career.

  67. Cesc Appeal

    Would everyone still play Ozil at the weekend? But as long a she got to operate in the No.10 role? Or would people drop him bearing in mind he only played 60 something minutes on Tuesday.

  68. Mr J

    I went to bed yesterday with the thought of Arsenal possibly (re)signing Lassana Diarra and Joseph Yoob… I thought ‘wow’

    Then I awoke with the same thought and had some time I thought about it some more and I want you guys to think about it for a minute…

    Diarra… & Yobo.

    Following a relegation season, QPR have won promotion and think about immediately strengthening their squad. They identify that their defence could need strengthening and their first two signings are Caulker (8m – promising defender) and Ferdinand (free – an ex-internation with vast experience) and they also add Sandro for some midfield strength.

    Harry Redknapp did that!


    Meanwhile… Arsene has known that his club captain (and senior level internation) was leaving at the end of the season. He’s know this for 9 months. He also has at least £150m at his disposal.

    It is now September 19th, some 18 days following the closure of the TW and yet, full in the knowledge that these requirements were needed – to the point where it has cost valuable points in competitions – Arsenal are trying to sign FREE agents Diarra (released from Locomotiv) and the 34 y.o. Joseph Yobo.

    From the scraps left on the floor… because, and lets face it, this is no longer the bargin basement.

    Lets leave aside all the ‘2years still no RVP replacement/5yrs plus for a DM’ and the ‘sign a man with a broken back – for cover, who wouldn’t be able to provide cover until the injured actually returned – thereby making the transfer completely redundant and utterly nonsensical’. And lets leave aside all the abject beatings we’ve endured in recent times, where the same mistakes are made again and again, but weeks apart and all the tactical flaws and all the lip service…

    What does the prospect of signing Diarra and… AND JOSEPH YOBO, or anybody else, on a free, say about this club, its manager and its fans??

    THIS IS UTTER NEGLIGENCE – IT’S GROSSEST of MISCONDUCTS!! In actual fact, its worse then that.

    Then you get clowns and circus animals saying ‘be patient’ ‘just get behind your team’ ‘Have faith’ ‘Stop moaning – we’ve just drawn with the champions’ ‘knee reactions’ ‘who else is there’ etc.

    You know, these are the people who come home early from work to find their best mate just leaving, whilst adjusting his zip and their wife re-rapping her naked body with the silk dressing gown you’d bought her, and think nothing was amiss!

    If this isn’t a sackable offense, if this doesn’t urge you to stop supporting a man who earns £8m per year to make these decisions, if this won’t endear you to call for the head of this so-called manager…, then perhaps your wife is being bedded by your best mate right under your nose and has been for the past 10 years…

  69. N5

    Cesc, I’d keep him on but as a #10. Ozil can have a moment of brilliance and change a game. You need players like that on the pitch.

    with my fingers turning white where I’m crossing them so hard hoping he finds some form.

  70. Jim Lahey

    @CA – I would have him on the bench this weekend, rest him up, let him knock off the crap thats been thrown his way over the last while, then I would play him the week after in that No.10 role.

  71. Dissenter

    I wouldn’t throw Ospina into the game at Villa.
    Are you sure he can handle the physicality of the Premier league?

    He needs a nice cushy home game first, preferably a cup game and then work him into the team.

    I just know tomorrow will be a bruiser. I’ll play only players who aren’t afraid to tackle tomorrow. I’ll drop Ozil and play Carzola. Carzola will screen the LB/RB better than Ozil can ever do.
    Villa have decent players and will beat us with just the sheer effort of will in the middle.

  72. Ashwin Gunner


    I agree, Rotation was never Wenger’s strength.

    The only thing good in Wenger was, his eye to spot talent at young age and make them WC.
    Of late, his eyesight has become very very very very very poor. he let 16 kids from the academy go at the end of last season..

  73. Romford Pele

    “I wouldn’t throw Ospina into the game at Villa.
    Are you sure he can handle the physicality of the Premier league?”

    We have Southampton on Tuesday so I think Ospina most likely makes his debut then.

    My team:
    Chambers/Bellerin Mert Kos Gibbs
    Arteta Wilshere/Ramsey (choose one)
    Sanchez Rosicky Ox

    No real reason to leave Ozil out, just mix it up a bit.

  74. Cesc Appeal


    Yeah me too. I thought about leaving him out, thinking it might be best, but he needs to stand up to the criticisms and show what a class player he is.

    I wish we had the personnel to play a 4-4-1-1 and stick him behind Welbeck as City did with Silva behind Dzeko mid-week. But without a work horse, commanding CDM we’d be left exposed.

    So maybe a 4-1-2-1-2 diamond middle like Romford keeps saying?

    Bellerin, Mert, Kozz, Gibbs
    Rosicky/Oxlade, Wilshere
    Welbeck, Sanchez

    I think Ramsey is looking a bit out of sorts right now, and to be fair Wilshere is playing the better right now so, as I always say club should be a meritocracy and the players bringing most to the table should play.

    Letting Ozil be No.10 behind two rapid forwards might awaken him, hoping.

    But still that CDM worries me, Flamini gets through more than Arteta I think, or gets stuck in more noticeably anyway, but we’d still have that issue of making sure one of the CM’s is more defensive.

  75. london gunner

    Why drop Szcz?

    Because he didn’t save two one on ones against Dortmund?

    Both goals were completely down to the defenders and lack of a DM.

    Yet Szcz will always cope the blame.

    Oh he also made 2/3 crucial saves one superbly blocking abuma’s shot from a couple yards out with an outstreched leg.

    PS those who say his not good at collecting the ball from crosses… tehehe he had one of the highest collection of the ball in the air/crosses last season far higher than de gea and mignolet

    Oh and as for Szcz shit disruption he actually had a higher disruption accuracy percentage than every keeper in the league… tehehehe

    But yeah his shit

  76. Cesc Appeal


    There is certainly an argument for that.

    He looks depressed right now, I know he’s very like that anyway but his body language more than normal looks deflated and defeated.

  77. matthew thomas

    @london gunner

    He does on occasion have some ridiculous lapses in judgement, he should be dropped for those to learn there are consequences to acting stupid.

  78. Josip Skoblar

    I was thinking exactly that. I was never a Chezney fan. Ospina is a very good goal keeper so why not try him? Who knows, Wenger might realise he’s got his new No1.

  79. Al

    You have to question the man management of players like Ozil. …Where is the protection for him. …He is struggling with everyone on his case, why not leave him out and protect him for a game or 2…

    Why continually chip away at his confidence when he is struggling and making it harder for him by playing him on his weakest position.

  80. Romford Pele

    Szcz is a very good GK, still fully behind him. That said, he tends to become lax every once in a while and needs a kick up his backside. Leave him in for tomorrow though.

  81. london gunner

    You don’t rotate keepers.

    You only rotate for say lesser cup matches where you play the second keeper.

    Szcz aside from one dumb fuck up was one of the better players out there against dortmund.

    First goal was not his fault if you look at the reply his positioning was spot on just immobile placed it very clinical right in the corner of the far post, in those instances even if you suspect the striker is going for the far post you can’t completely abandon the near post because it gives him such an easy option all you can do is cover the near post and spread your leg out its text book keeping some shots can’t be saved.

    2nd goal is bollocks his coping shit for that because his damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

    The defense completely fell asleep leaving Abuma in acres of space because of this Szcz has to rush out and try act as the sweeper keeper problem is abuma is one of the fastest players in europe

    So what;s the other option? The other option is to stay in goal but that gives abuma far to much time to control the ball and just slot it past the keeper and because his centre of box he will have either side of goal to choose from leaving the keeper clueless.

    Another fact is Szcz has to rush out for the second goal because the man tracking Abuma is Mert its literally a cheeta vs a slug. He knows mert is never catching him so his only opportunity is to get to the ball.

    It doesn’t work but Like I say damned if he does damned if he doesn’t

    But after that goal their were two instances when Szcz was lightning quick of his line and rushed out of the box to clear the ball away before Abuma could connect with the through ball placed to him.

    I think its time we get past this bizarre Szcz hatred, rate the performance not the reputation as I say

  82. Al

    The only issue with Szez is that he invites and puts us under unnecessary pressure.

    Going for a quick throw or kick when he should be holding on to the ball to waste a bit of time and have the team organised.
    Passing the ball to players under pressure.
    He has been doing this for 3 years and still has not improved in that aspect.

  83. N5

    Great post CA. I think dropping Ozil would be a mistake mainly because its like calling a woman a slag in the hope she’ll stop sleeping around.

    Ozil is getting it from all angles and yes, he needs to know he’s no beyond the subs bench, but let’s at least get him in his favored and best position first.

  84. Cesc Appeal


    I think as well taking to the field in a position you don’t want to be in, or don’t like knowing that it’s not playing to your strengths, hearing every groan when you lose the all or get muscled out or something.